McHenry County Board chairman names McHenry entrepreneur Jeffrey Schwartz to replace the late Chuck Wheeler

Appointment will need to be confirmed by full County Board; one more vacancy remains

McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler introduced McHenry resident and entrepreneur Jeffrey Schwartz as his nominee to fill the vacant seat left by the late Chuck Wheeler during a meeting of board members Thursday morning.

Schwartz – who will need to be confirmed in a vote of the full board Tuesday evening – is a longtime McHenry County resident and founder of Schwartz Performance, a custom car construction company, according to his introductory remarks at the meeting.

“[His] insights into small business, manufacturing and job growth forged by a lifetime of success will make him a valuable addition to the County Board,” Buehler said at the meeting Thursday.

Buehler chose Schwartz out of a field of 10 applicants to replace Wheeler, who died Nov. 12, in representing District 4, which covers Richmond, Johnsburg, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and most of McHenry.

Schwartz, a Republican, has been a resident of McHenry County since 1974, he said.

He has served as a member of the McHenry County College’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, chairman of the McHenry County Industrial Council and as a member of the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation Board.

While serving as a board member for the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation Board, Schwartz said he was struck by the number of McHenry County residents working outside of the county and began to focus on how to promote job growth within the county.

Schwartz worked with General Kinematics Corporation in Crystal Lake before founding Schwartz Performance in Woodstock in 2005, where he employs just over 20 people, he said. He also founded Schwartz Motocross History Museum, according to a news release sent out Thursday.

“[Schwartz] is a community anchor and job creator whose ability to work with others is well-known to the business community,” Buehler said in the news release.

Also on Tuesday, board members will vote to officially declare a vacancy for the seat left by Democrat Suzanne Ness, who resigned from the board Jan. 8 to begin her first term as state representative for Illinois’ 66th District.

Once the vacancy is made official, Buehler will begin interviewing candidates to fill the seat and must fill it within 60 days, according to state statute.

The McHenry County Democratic Party has recommended Crystal Lake attorney Thomas Pavelko, but Vice-Chairman Carolyn Schofield said it should be clear that any and all eligible candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Anyone interested in filling the position must be a Democratic voter and must reside within District 2, which includes all or parts of Crystal Lake, Cary, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and Lakewood.

Kelli Duncan

Kelli Duncan is a reporter for the Northwest Herald covering county government as well as the communities of Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo and Harvard. She has previously covered local politics, immigration and feature stories.